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Why did Neelagiri have to die?

Jan 27 (SO) Generally all of us do not believe in starting stories in a negative perspective. Yet there is no option but to mention tragedy with the death of Neelagiri elephant, a proud member of Sri Lanka's flagship species. Neelagiri died last Monday. This tragedy took place as a result of inhumane actions of a few individuals who were expected to be loving and caring for animals bringing sadness to the majority of animal lovers and honest, genuine officials involved more..

Editorial: Probe the sacrifice of 600 policemen

Jan 27 (Island) In a strange turn of events, the overseas Tigers are training their propaganda cannon on UNSG Ban Ki-moon, whom they hailed as a hero not many moons ago. Some of their web publications are accusing the UN Chief of colluding with President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the question of alleged war crimes. They seem to think that the Moon Panel is not moving in the direction they want. But, their apprehension is unfounded, more..

Editorial: Mahabodhi- the latest ruse of the LTTE

Jan 27 (DM) As the LTTE international loses its political clout and with it a great source of income running in to billions of dollars, the desperation to seek the lowest means to survive can become obvious. The dastardly attack on four Buddhist priests and several others at the Mahabodhi temple in Chennai is a clear sign of this pathetic situation that the remaining LTTE activists outside have resorted to. Causing damage to the tune of Rs 2 million and more..

SLTB income up 40 percent

Jan 27 (DN) The Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) has achieved a record income of Rs 14650.9 million in 2010, compared to the total income of Rs 13,492 million in 2009. ”This is an increase of 40.1 percent compared to the registered percentage of 36.8 in 2009,” Transport Deputy Minister Rohana Kumara Dissanayake said. ”The SLTB has also reported an increase in its daily income last year, due to the reform of its administrative structure. more..

Dayan Jayatilleka challenges RSF at UNESCO symposium

Jan 27 (TC) Newly appointed Permanent Delegate of Sri Lanka to UNESCO, Ambassador Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka participating in the International Symposium on the Freedom of Expression at UNESCO in Paris questioned the right of Reporters without Borders (RSF) to stand in judgment of legitimate member states. The Secretary General of Reporters without Borders, Mr. Jean-Francois Julliard, a panelist at the symposium, in his remarks earlier noted several countries and more..

Central Bank optimistic as spectre of inflation looms

Jan 27 (Island) Benchmark Treasury bill rates remained steady at the primary market auction yesterday (26) with investors unwilling to bid at lower rates in view of inflation expectations, dealers said. The market was expecting another policy rate cut if inflation continues to rise, but the Central Bank’s Chief Economists, said a temporary spike in prices would not require such a move, and that inflation in general would remain at single-digits this year. more..

Boston Lanka News: Jan. 26, 2011

Editorial: Fishermen, again

Jan 27 (Hindu) Relations between India and Sri Lanka have never been better. Yet the recent killings of two Tamil Nadu fishermen, allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy, have cast a negative light on bilateral ties. While the Sri Lankan Navy has denied responsibility for the deaths, there is anger in Tamil Nadu, and New Delhi has lodged a strong protest with Colombo. Unacceptably, miscreants have attempted to take diplomacy into their own hands by attacking a more..

Animal cruelty application DSG asks for time

Jan 27 (DM) Deputy Solicitor General moved for time to file objections on February 20 when the Writ application filed in the public interest for the prevention of cruelty towards animals came up before the Court of Appeal yesterday (26). Petitioners are Dharmavijaya Foundation, its President R.G.G. Olcott Gunasekara, Sri Bodhirajah Foundation, Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thero, Ven. Bowatte Indaratana Thero, Franciscan Society Member Bro. Lionel Peiris, more..

Sri Lanka venues 'yet to be ready'

Jan 27 (BBC) The International Cricket Council (ICC) has admitted that some work still needs to be completed at Cricket World Cup venues in Sri Lanka. The ICC has raised concerns at the progress of construction of the venues. The World Cup, co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, begins on 19 February after a week of warm-up games. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said that the venues for the upcoming series against the West Indies have been changed. more..

N. Ramachandran conferred Sri Lankan award

Jan 27 (Hindu) N. Ramachandran, President, World Squash Federation, was conferred the “Friendship of Sri Lankan Squash award” at a spectacular opening ceremony of the 15th Asian junior championship in Colombo on Tuesday night. The ceremony, lasting over 90 minutes at the Mount Lavinia Hotel by the bay, witnessed the assemblage of the 19 teams (11 men and eight women) for the Asian championships. Holding centre stage at the gala event was Sri Lankan icon and more..

Anuruddha Ratwatte's bribery case postponed

Jan 27 (DM) Colombo High Court yesterday postponed the case against former Defence Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte in which he was alleged to have failed to declare the mode of earnings of his assets to the Bribery Commission. When the matter was taken up for inquiry before High Court Judge Sunil Rajapakse President Counsel Rienzie Arsekularatne appearing on behalf of Anurudddha Ratwatte submitted that the parties had tendered the written submission in court already and more..

Matale UPFAers go Independent

Jan 27 (DM) All seven UPFA members of the Wilgamuwa Pradeshiya Sabha including its former Chairman handed in deposits to the Matale returning officer yesterday to contest as an Independent Group at the upcoming LG Elections. Earlier this week five of them had refused to sign nomination papers in protest of deleting names of the other two former members of the Pradeshya Sabha by the UPFA hierarchy and had declared that they would accept nominations only if more..

Important milestone in Sri Lanka-Kuwait relations

Jan 27 (DN) Deputy Minister Neomal Perera said the Golden Jubilee of Independence of Kuwait is an important milestone in the liberal relations between Sri Lanka and Kuwait especially because the event coincides with the 40th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Kuwait and Sri Lanka. The Deputy Minister was speaking at a ceremony held to inform the media about the celebrations. He said: “The Kuwait citizens have sacrificed to more..

Govt. loses rs. 30mn on illegal fags

Jan 27 (DM) The Customs Department said that a tax loss of more than Rs.30 million has been incurred due to the illegal importation of cigarettes that were seized by Customs recently. Customs Deputy Director, Athula Lankadeva said that 2.1 million cigarette sticks were discovered in 10,500 cigarette cartons worth a staggering Rs.40 million. He said that two different brands of cigarettes were found in two consignments that had arrived to Sri Lanka in one container. more..

Civilisation is not waterproof

Jan 27 (SL) If it bleeds it leads, but if it’s wet people forget. This is the tragedy of the Sri Lankan floods, that the damage is clear, heavy and largely invisible. On the main Polonnaruwa road a hundred cyclists are racing besides green paddy fields. The crop looks healthy and there’s not a bump on the road. In the interior, however, crops and roads are washed away and — for the people trying to rebuild their lives — there’s no end in sight. more..

Thailand donates US$ 100,000 for Sri Lanka flood relief

Jan 27 (RW) Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand Kasit Piromya handed over a cheque of US $ 100,000 to the Deputy Minister of External Affairs, Neomal Perera on 19th January 2011 on behalf of the Royal Thai Government as an initial contribution for the rehabilitation of areas devastated during the recent floods. The Thai Foreign Minister made this donation during the BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting held in the Republic of Union of Myanmar. more..

Colombo Church helps find missing journalist

Jan 27 (UCAN) Priests, journalists and artists in Sri Lanka have accompanied a woman to appeal to the United Nations office in Colombo to help find her missing husband. Prageeth Ekneligoda, a journalist and political analyst, disappeared in Colombo on Jan. 24 last year. The missing journalist had written about the country’s political situation, lawlessness, corruption and nepotism. “One government minister assured us that he would find the missing journalist more..

Senior govt minister lashes out at BoI and private sector

Jan 27 (Island) Senior Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama yesterday lashed out at the private saying that it has not taken any initiative to participate in the development activities of the country and labelled the Board of Investment (BoI) as a corrupt institution. He called the private sector weak and said they were ‘dead-scared’ to take risks and have not made use of the investment opportunities available. more..

Chennai attack won’t upset Lanka Ind. Day celebrations

Jan 27 (Island) The Chennai-based Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner Vadiwel Kishnamoorthy says a series of religious, social and cultural activities will be organized to mark Sri Lanka’s 63rd Independence Day. Kishnamoorthy says celebrations will coninue in spite of the recent attack on the Chennai centre of the Mahabodhi Society. This year’s focus will be on peace, development and national reconciliation in the post-war era, he says. more..

Sri Lanka: Delayed foreign universities bill imminent

Jan 27 (UWN) A much-awaited bill to enable private universities, in particular foreign providers, to set up in Sri Lanka is expected to be presented to the cabinet in February. "The Ministry of Higher Education has finalised all aspects of the bill which will soon be submitted for cabinet approval," Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education, Dr Sunil Nawarathne, told University World News in an exclusive interview. more..

'Weak govt, weak PM cause for attacks on fishermen'

Jan 27 (TOI) AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh step down if he was not able to find a solution to end the mid-sea attacks on Indian fishermen. Jayalalithaa told reporters at Pushpavanam fishing hamlet in Nagapattinam district that the reason for continuing attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen was a "weak government and a weak and non performing Prime Minister". more..

Jayasuriya's visit to Chennai cancelled

Jan 27 (TOI) The visit of Sri Lankan cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya to the city was cancelled after the attack on the Sri Lankan Maha Bodhi Society in Egmore on Monday. The city police have tightened security at the Lankan mission as well as in areas where many Sri Lankans live. Sri Lankan High Commissioner Prasad Kariayawasam, who landed here after the attack expressed grief. He met the state chief secretary and demanded action against those involved in the incident. more..

Despite hearing of death in Sri Lanka, UN Bragg says no contact with Ban's Panel

Jan 26 (ICP) Hours after the UN belatedly told Inner City Press that its humanitarian deputy Catherine Bragg had no restrictions on her recent visa and trip to Sri Lanka, Ms. Bragg said that she has and apparently will have no contact at all with Ban Ki-moon's Panel on Accountability for war crimes, despite people in Northern Sri Lanka telling her about relatives killed in the war. Inner City Press had put questions in writing to Ms. Bragg, more..

Catherine Bragg's visit to Sri Lanka

Govt intensifies Colombo evictions

Jan 27 (wsws) Since the beginning of the year, the Sri Lankan government has sped up the implementation of its plans to evict 66,000 families from their homes and shanties in Colombo to clear land for developers and foreign investors. The military is intimately involved in the process, with soldiers mobilised to suppress opposition to the evictions. Last year, government placed the Urban Development Authority (UDA) and Land Reclamation and Development Board (LRDB) more..

Polls chief asks CROs to ensure 40% youth representation

Jan 27 (Island) Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dissanayake issued strict instructions to all Chief Returning Officers to ensure that all the registered political parties complied with the mandatory requirement of 40 per cent youth candidates when accepting nominations during the last minutes rush before nominations close at 12 noon today. Meanwhile, the handing over of deposits by Independent Groups concluded at 12 noon yesterday. more..

SEC to commence operations in Jaffna

Jan 27 (Island) The State Engineering Corporation, which participated in the Jaffna International Trade Fair 2011, has decided to commence operations in Jaffna, for which staff will be recruited mainly from the North. Chairman of SEC Ashu Marasinghe told The Island that there was a good response to the SEC’s products and services displayed at the Fair, which concluded on Sunday. more..

Police arrest suspect serial killer

Jan 27 (DN) Kahawatta Police have arrested a youth suspected of murdering several old women living alone. He was arrested last Thursday night by the Mobile Unit of the Kahawatta Police when he was attempting to break in to a house where a 62-year-old woman was living alone. Neighbours who heard a sound had alerted the police about the incident around 11.30 pm. The suspect, a 29-year-old estate labourer in the area had confessed to killing three old women since 2008. more..

LG nominations close today

Jan 27 (DM) Accepting of nominations for the forthcoming local government polls will be concluded at 12.00 noon today. Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayaka will announce the date for elections after the conclusion of accepting the nominations by returning officers of the 25 districts. However, government has already said that the elections would be held on March 12. The government dissolved 301 out of 343 local government bodies more..

Massive blow for Sri Lankan cricket: ICC no balls Interim Committee

Jan 27 (Island) The controversial Cricket Interim Committee and the World Cup Secretariat have committed a terrible blunder by not looking deep into ICC Host Agreement that has forced the Interim Committee to pull the three One-Day Internationals scheduled against the West Indies later this month from Hambantota and R. Premadasa Stadiums. The Interim Committee had earlier announced that the first ODI against the Windies will be played at more..

Shooting drama near court

Jan 27 (DM) In a mid day drama at the Mount Lavinia courts yesterday a pedestrian was seriously injured when prison officers opened fire at an escaping remand prisoner, down Hotel Road behind the courts compound. The suspect who had escaped while being taken to the court cell by prison officers after the hearing of his case was Sarath Chandana Silva alias Chooty Putha who was in remand over a number of robberies and thefts. more..

'Cost of living has risen by 200 percent in eight months'

Jan 27 (Island) The cost of living has risen by about 200 percent in the last eight months the UNP said yesterday. UNP MP Harin Fernando, addressing a news conference in Colombo, said that despite the Mahinda Rajapaksa government claiming that the economy was booming, the truth was that the cost of living has gone through the roof and the common masses were struggling to survive. more..

Attempts underway to release Lankans held hostage by Somali Pirates

Jan 27 (HNS) While an international crackdown on Somali pirates continues, the Sri Lankan government through its foreign mission in Africa and the Middle East are in process of working towards the release of nine Sri Lankans who are currently held hostage by the pirates. Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry sources said that they are in the process of negotiating with respective shipping companies that owns the MV Albedo, more..

South African author Galgut boycotts Sri Lanka lit fest

Jan 27 (AFP) South African award-winning novelist and playwright Damon Galgut has boycotted a literary festival in Sri Lanka because of concerns over the country's rights record, organisers said Thursday. Galgut, a winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize in 2003 for "The Good Doctor", set in post-apartheid South Africa, declined to take part in the Galle Literary Festival despite arriving in Sri Lanka this week, organisers said. more..

Govt. struggles on the ‘Language front’, LLRC told

Jan 27 (Island) The government’s efforts to create a trilingual Sri Lanka with English as the link Language had run into a snag with ministries tasked with the accomplishment of the ambitious project dragging their feet on the implementation thereof contrary to public pronouncements, the LLRC was told. Testifying before the LLRC, Presidential Advisor Sunimal Fernando proposed a series of measures to strengthen the presidential initiative for a trilingual Sri Lanka. more..

Jaffna gang arrested

Jan 27 (NN) The police have arrested an eight member gang which was involved in several robberies and crimes in the Jaffna peninsula, the military said today. Jaffna Army Commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe said that initially one person was arrested while he was attempting to rob a house. Following further investigations based on information provided by the suspect the police arrested seven others who were part of a gang, more..

Despite progress more must be done for those displaced by war – UN

Jan 27 (UN) The Sri Lankan Government has made significant progress in resettling the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the decades-long war with Tamil separatists but a lot more work still needs to be done, a top United Nations humanitarian official said today. “It is clear that there are still immediate humanitarian needs that we must address now,” the Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Catherine Bragg, told a news briefing more..

UPFA nomination papers rejected for 16 local bodies in Jaffna

Jan 28 (NN) The UPFA is to file legal action against the rejection of its nomination papers submitted today for the LG Elections in Jaffna and Killinochchi. EPDP Leader and Minister Douglas Devananda said that the UPFA nomination papers for 16 local bodies in the Jaffna District and three in Killinochchi were rejected by elections officials today. “We will file legal action against this. The nomination papers for 19 local bodies submitted by the UPFA in more..

Blind file complaint

Jan 28 (NN) A union representing blind people have filed a police complaint against the leasing out of a section of the blind school in Ratmalana to a private company. President of the Sri Lanka Council for the Visually Handicapped graduates Sugath Wasantha De Silva said that legal action is also to be filed against the Board of Directors of the blind school. Wasantha De Silva said that the four acre land where the blind school is located was gifted in 1912 to construct the school. more..